By James Ladd
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In July, 1779, during my absence, Colonel Bowman, with one hundred and sixty men, went against the Shawanese at Old Chillicothe. He arrived undiscovered; a battle ensued, which lasted till ten in the morning, when Colonel Bowman retreated thirty miles. The Indians collected all their strength and pursued him, when another engagement ensued for two hours, not to Colonel Bowman’s advantage. Colonel Harrod proposed to mount a number of horses and break the enemy’s line, who at this time fought with remarkable fury.
That we might get the start, so far as to be out of the reach of their pursuit the next day, since we were well assured that they would follow our track as soon as it was light. The next day we continued traveling until quite dark, and got to the river about two miles above Shannapins. We expected to have found the river frozen, but it was not—only about 50 yards from each shore. The ice, I suppose, had broken up above, for it was drifting in vast quantities. There was no way for getting over, but on a raft.
Thus, many hundred miles from our families, in the howling wilderness, we did not continue in a state of indolence, but hunted every day, and prepared a little cottage to protect us from the winter storms. We met with no disturbance during the winter. On the ﬁrst May, 1770, my brother returned home by himself for a new recruit of horses and ammunition, leaving me alone without bread, salt, or sugar, or even a horse or dog. I passed a few days uncomfortably. The idea of a beloved wife and family, and their anxiety on my account, would have exposed me to melancholy, if I had further indulged the thought.